Hoping to find a FIT close to home


By Hope Lecchi - [email protected]



Ed Watkins, co-founder of the Sedalia FIT Program, left, listens as Smith-Cotton High School intern Autumn Hooker and Peak Sport and Spine clinic director Mike Trammell discuss Hooker’s internship at the rehab center. Trammell said he hopes students in the program will consider “coming home” to work in Sedalia after the completion of their degree.


Photo courtesy of Sedalia FIT

The benefits of the Sedalia FIT (Forty-hour Internship Training) program for the students who have taken part in the program are well documented.

There are also benefits from the program for the Sedalia business owners who have allowed students into their work places to observe them on a daily basis.

Clinic Director Mike Trammell, of Peak Sport and Spine, spoke of some of those benefits as he and his student intern Autumn Hooker recently discussed the program with the Democrat.

“Because Autumn is not licensed to work directly in the treatment of patients, she couldn’t actually help them as we worked with them,” Trammell explained. “In a way that was very beneficial for both me and my staff because it really made all of us pay more attention to how we described things to her and our patients.

“We could see what she was thinking at times and it was like she was wondering why we did what we did or used one piece of equipment over another when working with an individual,” he added. “She asked a lot of good questions about why we did certain things.”

Hooker said the experience was very beneficial and what she had hoped it would be.

“No one in my family is in the medical field or wants to do anything like this,” Hooker explained. “I have always wanted to help people and this seems like a good area to do that because the patients come in wanting help to get better and they do that here.

“Even though I didn’t get to work directly with the patients, I still want to enter the field and work someplace like this, “she added. “I definitely learned a lot from my experience here this week.”

Peak Performance employees nine individuals, four physical therapists, one occupational therapist, two assistants and two office personnel. Hooker was able to see what the employees were responsible for in completing in their various roles, something she found beneficial.

As a junior, Hooker said she has not finalized her plans for college although she is considering several options.

“I know it will be a six- to seven-year degree program,” Hooker said. “I’m not sure where I want to work after graduation but I would like to work someplace like this.”

Trammell commented on the importance of keeping and retaining members of the local community to work in Sedalia.

“We’ve been here 10 years and I really do have quality staff who do have ties to the community,” Trammell said. “It’s hard though at times to get students to come back or stay after they have gone away for college.

“I think that’s one of the things the program offers is for students to see the wide range of opportunities available here,” he added. “We have treated patients as young as six hours old whose parents we teach how to care for their children to patients as old as 103.”

Hooker said seeing the different clients was helpful and she appreciated the one-to-one attention the patients received at the clinic.

“I got to see a full range of clients and I was able to learn a lot watching the staff work with them,” Hooker said. “I learned so many things that I couldn’t do in a class with just a textbook.

“I would definitely recommend the experience (of an internship) for others,” Hooker added. “I learned so many things that I didn’t before this experience.”

For Trammell that was also a benefit to the internship.

“Even though Autumn couldn’t directly work with the patients, I think she had some good one-on-one time talking to both the patients and staff,” Trammell said. “I think one of the things she gained is that we are here to help point her in the right direction to achieve what she has set out to accomplish.”

Ed Watkins, co-founder of the Sedalia FIT Program, left, listens as Smith-Cotton High School intern Autumn Hooker and Peak Sport and Spine clinic director Mike Trammell discuss Hooker’s internship at the rehab center. Trammell said he hopes students in the program will consider “coming home” to work in Sedalia after the completion of their degree.
http://sedaliademocrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/web1_tsd110316sedaliafit1.jpgEd Watkins, co-founder of the Sedalia FIT Program, left, listens as Smith-Cotton High School intern Autumn Hooker and Peak Sport and Spine clinic director Mike Trammell discuss Hooker’s internship at the rehab center. Trammell said he hopes students in the program will consider “coming home” to work in Sedalia after the completion of their degree. Photo courtesy of Sedalia FIT

By Hope Lecchi

[email protected]

Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484.

Sedalia Democrat

Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484.

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